Yes, my point exactly. And unfortunately, it seems that the most accidents happen where there are lots of cars, and that is where they are being touted as such an improvement in safety. And as for meeting unexpected conditions, I come across those about half the times that I go driving. So really, a driverless vehicle is "a solution looking for a problem". They would probably be handy for convoys, where driver fatigue has been a problem, and they could probably help make intercity trucking a bit safer, but I would not want thenm in my neighborhood.
There's one simple fact that proves your point perfectly, William K: Even the most ardent supporters of driverless vehicles have admitted that the technology's not ready for use in crowded, complicated settings, such as Bombay, India. The human brain is much better than electronic controllers at dealing with the unexpected.
Pblanche, driving is a major activity, where atmost care has to take but now a day's the most soficated and advanced in-house entertainment systems are diverting driver attention up to an extent. While driving, personally I won't use such systems for a better attention.
I don't find driving relaxing at all. My commute is on the Interstate highway system and being vigilant and aware is always a must for me. The death toll on Tennessee highways last year (2012) was 1,012 people. Most of this was due to carelessness, elevated speeds and inattention. In my opinion, this is a ridiculously high number. The number of people taking public transportation has remained steady but most families are multi-car families with mom and dad working and they both need transportation. This fact along increases the probability a greater number of accidents will occur. I would say the development efforts of Toyota and Audi are well -placed and should continue simply due to annual death rates on our public highways, local and interstate. Even with this being the case, we are probably years, maybe decades, away from cars Charles mentions in his article.
The comment about humans making mistakes illus6trates exactly the fundamental fault that all of the driverless cars will be built with, which is the ability to think. The very best that a driverless caar can do is follow a set of programmed rules, it really can't do any better than that. So if there are no cars within a mile, it will still stop at every stop sign, even if you are attempting to rush to a hospital to save a life. The driverless software will never consider the relative risk, the lawyers have already decided that it will be way more cautious than my grandmother was when driving. The other fault is even worse, which is that with the billions of lines of code controlling the car, if there ever is a problem, the carmaker will have to refuse to admit the existance of a problem, because of potential liability concerns.
So even if there were no other problems with the driverless car, those two problems amount to an immovable show-stopper.
Many good points but I believe that the first adopters should be those who view driving as a necessary evil and who are most likely to be engaged in other activity while driving. Urban environments where chronic congestion is widespread is an area where Self-Driving Technologies will be a benefit provided they are not used as an alternative to the continued development and upgrading of our mass transit systems.
Security and the integration of regional traffic information data aquisition into the SDTs will be addressed as part of the product development process and the collection, transfer and delivery of secure accurate information will become an integral part of our transportion infrastructure.
I envision a day when those who do not desire to bear the burden of piloting a motor vehicle where other options are not available will not have to do so. I also believe that when this comes to pass that there should be more rigorous licensing requirements for those who do want to have the privilege of driving autonomously. What a glorious day that will be for those of us who enjoy driving! No more left lane hogs, no more right turns from the left turn lane! Too many examples to list. I am excited.
Charles, I agree that human drivers are making repeat mistakes, but very rarely. But they have some logical thinking for reaching the destiny or taking suitable route depends up on traffic situation and information’s in front of them. But when comes to auto navigating system, the entire decisions are based on the info feeded and there are chances for wrong decisions too, because of the lack of right information.
Prakash, all coins have two sides. Like that there are chances for misusage, but hope for the best. Technological developments are for human advancement and to make the lifestyle smoother/ easier. So there are chances for misuse too, but will you think that will make cease further invention, No. it's a part of the journey.
As usual driverless car depends on software and networking which will become an easy target for terrorist to create chaos, damage to property and lives by hacking their software and introduce malfunctions.
In my opinion, it is good to have them in ideal world but not in today's world where terrorism is a big menance.
Researchers have been working on a number of alternative chemistries to lithium-ion for next-gen batteries, silicon-air among them. However, while the technology has been viewed as promising and cost-effective, to date researchers haven’t managed to develop a battery of this chemistry with a viable running time -- until now.
Norway-based additive manufacturing company Norsk Titanium is building what it says is the first industrial-scale 3D printing plant in the world for making aerospace-grade metal components. The New York state plant will produce 400 metric tons each year of aerospace-grade, structural titanium parts.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies.
You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived.
So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.